Mayan Archaeology > Campeche > Campeche

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Discover the house of the serpent’s mouth

Chicanná means “House of the Serpent Mouth” in Mayan, possibly a reference to the enormous figurehead of the central façade of Structure II. Given its location, it was probably part of the trading route crossing the peninsula from the Gulf of Mexico to the southern coast.

The site’s earliest occupation goes back to the late Preclassic period (300 B-C. to 250 A.D.), and its peak dates back to the late Classic period (550 – 700 A.D.), when the site was a small center dependent on the Becán.

The site was found in 1969, in Rio Bec style. It is distinguished by the elegance and decorative richness of its buildings, leading some researchers to consider it as a center for the elite.

Chicanná is made up of seven structures: The East Palace, a long building with two lines of three chambers each; Structure II has a central façade decorated with an enormous figurehead that represents Itzamná. Structures III, IV, and VI are interesting due to their central stairways; Structure XI consists of a small palace of 12 rooms; and finally, Structure XX is a two-level building with a total of 15 rooms and a main façade with an integral zoomorphic front.

The beautiful Structure II is of the site’s highlights; it is richly decorated with an enormous figurehead of Itzamná, the god of creation. Remains of stucco in red and blue colors can be seen there, as well as Mayan mythological figures.

Monday though Sunday from 8:00 to 17:00
42 pesos
How to arrive

From the city of Campeche, take the highway towards the town of Champotón, from there take the federal 186 Escárcega-Chetumal, the site is on kilometer 141.


Map and address

Kilometer 141 Escárcega – Chetumal Highway